Friday, April 18, 2014

ObamaCare in Context**

For me context is the key – from that comes the understanding of everything.

Kenneth Noland (1824-2010), American Artist

As President Obama spikes the football and runs his victory laps over the 8 million enrollees in his health plan,  it is important to keep matters in context.

First,   8 million is 2.5% of 315 million,  the U.S. population.

Second,  the original goal of 7 million was a made-up manufactured political number.  The idea was to set up a number you realistically  expected to meet, then to cheer if you exceeded it.

Third,  a lot of unknowns remain – how many were young and healthy,   how many were old and sick, how many were insured, how many were previously uninsured,  how many actually paid, and how high premiums will be when announced in May.

Fourth,  the cheer leading, fist pumping,  and highfying  is all about better positioning Democrats for the November midterm elections, which they need to win if ObamaCare is too remain viable.

Fifth,  the final returns are not yet in.  The latest average on the health law show 39.8% in favor,  52.3% opposed, and those numbers have remained roughly the same since the law passed in March 2010.

Sixth,  this enrollment period is the first of many.  The next is November 15 of 2014, which will follow the midterms.  ObamaCare implementation is a multiple year process.

Seventh, President Obama has 2 1/2 years  left in office, and other issues – the speed of the economic recovery, the rate of unemployment,  foreign policy outcomes –  will affect ObamaCare acceptance or rejection.

Eighth,   there are a series of imponderable requirements  that  need to be put in  context.
           Anything that requires 2700 pages to explain may be inexplicable, hence confusion will continue.
·         Anything that requires 2500 pages of regulations to enforce may be  unenforceable.

·         Anything that requires $2.5 trillion to implement (OMB estimate)  may be unsustainable and  unaffordable.

·         Anything that results in more than 150 consecutive negative national polls over a 4 year period may be politically untenable.

Tweet:  The fact that 8 million Americans have enrolled in the health exchanges should be put in political context before being declared an unqualified  success.

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